Final Weekend to Ride: Successful Season for King County's Trailhead Direct Service
This weekend marks the end of King County's new transit-to-trailhead pilot project in the Issaquah Alps. With a successful first season, King County announces a continuation of the program for Spring 2018 as well as the possible addition of trailheads along the 1-90 corridor.
This summer marked the start of of a transformative new form of trailhead transportation within the Issaquah Alps. The Trailhead Direct pilot project, developed jointly by the King County Metro and King County Parks departments, aimed to ease vehicle congestion on popular trails and mitigate traffic hazards.
With big growth in Seattle and the surrounding areas, the need for alternate trailhead transportation has been on the rise. Parking lots along popular Issaquah Alps and I-90 trailheads are often filled to capacity before 8 a.m. on most weekends, leading hikers to park illegally along busy roads. These back-ups can cause major safety concerns among drivers as well as adverse environmental impacts.
Since opening day on August 5, the Trailhead Direct served an average of 40 riders per day, putting a size-able dent in the number of cars parking at the trailhead. Currently, the shuttle system transports hikers from the Issaquah Transit Center or Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride, both of which have plenty of parking spaces and are a bus ride away from downtown Seattle, to the following trailheads: Margaret’s Way, Poo Poo Point and the Puget Power Trail. In total, the shuttle connects hikers to over 5,000 acres of public lands and more than 150 miles of trail to choose from.
Due to first year success, the Transit Direct program may see an extended service for the spring 2018 season. The additional route would transport hikers from North Bend parking locations to popular I-90 locations such as Mount Si and Mailbox Peak.
KING COUNTY NEEDS YOUR INPUT
Complete this brief survey and help King County polish up the program before next year’s return.